”…make a careful search for the child…”  [Matthew 2:8]

What do you hear during these days of preparation and celebration?  Do you hear the canned carols blasting out over shopping center marquis – the tickling bells of the Salvation Army – the ‘not quite real’ sound of Santa as he shouts Ho! Ho! Ho! to children passing by, clinging to mothers tired from shopping and stretching the dollar bill?

Are you the parent worrying how to provide the joy that all the toys and paraphernalia is guaranteed to bring?  Then STOP!  Stop and in the silence of your own heart and remember what Christmas means to you – let the music of yesteryear remind you of bygone times when Christmas was just being together.  Small gifts given with huge love – games that nobody really wanted to win – we just wanted to play together.

Remember the Christmas pageant at the local church?  We all knew who was behind the cardboard donkey, or under the lamb’s wool cover.  The church was a little place where everyone knew everyone else, the carolers were sometimes off key, but nobody noticed they just joined in.  It was a place where the joy was greater than the event, greater than the size of the tree, greater than every present, but – One.  It was a place where love shone and peace walked home with you when the service was over.  But it was never really over because the one that made it all possible – the best gift was with you forever.  Emmanuel – God with us!

In the jingle jangle of Christmas bells make a careful search for the child in the Bethlehem of your heart.  Your joy will spill over to all those you love.  You are guaranteed to hear the sounds of heaven.

Further reading:    Psalm 55, Matthew 2